What you need to build a great client experience
Crafting a great client experience starts with building trust. There are numerous ways to do that, from creating valuable content to perfecting your project workflow. When a potential client is ready to hire you, that's not where the client experience starts. They have already spent time with your brand - reading your content, reviewing your portfolio, following you on social media and imagining what their life would be like with your product or service. All of this happens BEFORE you get that lead in your inbox. So, how do you control their experience before they even sit down with you over coffee for the first time? I've got lots of ideas on how to speak to the heart of your dream client and take care of them over the course of your time together.
Define your dream client and know your why:
Know who you’re speaking to and what they value. Spend time really digging into your WHY - this should include how you solve your client’s need and position you as an expert in your craft.
Avoid design trends by keeping your brand simple and timeless:
Use the same 1-2 typefaces and the same 3-4 colors for everything. Keep your same logo for 3-5 years (or more!) Less is more, especially when it comes to branding. Don’t hop on the trend train every 9 months!
Provide free value before giving your sales pitch:
Use your blog and social channels to educate potential clients on your work, your process and give them advice on something in your field that would really help them. The more you share, the more they will trust that you’re the best person for their project. It feels counterintuitive to give your best away for free, but remember - most people cannot do what you do. You need to prove that you’re good at your craft before a client hires you to take on their project. This also makes the selling process MUCH easier!
Create a process and communicate deadlines with your client:
Streamlining your process will keep you organized and your client in the know of what to expect during your project. This also applies to product-based businesses — things like production and shipping times are very important to share. When you outline what you’re working on and when your client should receive things from you, everyone is at ease and projects usually run smoothly.
Set boundaries and stick to them, even when it’s hard:
Set office hours. Tell your clients how to contact you (or how NOT to contact you - like texting you on a weekend). But remember, you have to abide by your own boundaries. Draft emails when you’re working at midnight, but schedule them to go out at 8 AM so your client doesn’t think you’re available all hours.
Quality over quantity, every single time:
This is your permission to not post every single day on instagram. Take time to write thoughtful words, share value and connect with your followers authentically, even if that’s less frequently than the industry demands. Also, invest in branded photography to showcase your work in the best way possible.
Wrapping up a project with one final ask:
First, send a hand-written note on branded stationery thanking your client for a great project. Then ask them for their feedback and a testimonial! People love sharing their opinions, which will help you refine your process and attract new clients when you share their testimonials on your website or another lead source, like The Knot or Yelp, etc.